Toon boss hits out at pundits' 'abuse of power'

Newcastle United manager Sir Bobby Robson has attacked the “irresponsible” and “destructive” attitude of media pundits towards Premiership managers.

Robson hit out in defence of his profession and accused television and newspaper commentators — including former professional footballers – of abusing powerful positions.

“It is a modern craze to point the finger at the team manager – something that didn’t happen anything like this in the past,” Robson said.

Robson hit out at the media in his programme notes for Newcastle’s game with Aston Villa on Saturday.

He claimed: “I feel that nowadays there is a worrying degree of irresponsibility among the media which to some extent is abusing its position of power.

“It is becoming more and more prevalent for ‘experts’ on TV panels and newspapers to sit in judgement on managerial talents that they never have and never will emulate.

“Let no one underestimate the power of the media. It plays a great part in shaping public opinion for, if several million people are told that Joe Bloggs is no good and ought not to be there, a lot of people are going to believe it. That is why I think those people in the media should treat the position of power they have with greater responsibility Robson was the subject of intense media speculation during his reign as England manager. Similar pressure resulted from Newcastle United’s poor start to the season.

“I watched a group of former players on TV wilfully criticising managers who have done far more in the game than them,” he added. “I’ve seen opinion polls set up in papers asking: ‘Should he stay?’ ‘Should he go?’ And with the greatest of respect, who are these people to put such a question?”

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